How to Quickly & Completely Drain Your Laptop Battery

updated Aug 20, 2023
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When it comes to questions about your laptop battery, oftentimes you’re looking for ways to extend your laptop’s battery life, whether that’s so you can work on the go or watch a movie on your couch without having to find the closet outlet. But what about those moments — like before you stash your computer away for a while — when you need to drain all the juice from your laptop quickly? Here’s how to do it.

How to Drain Your Laptop’s Battery

Usually you’re trying to conserve your laptop’s battery. In the occasional situation where you need to drain it quickly so you can store your laptop or recalibrate it, here’s how to do it. Spoiler: It could involve catching up on streaming shows, using all your favorite apps, leaving all the tabs open, and watching at full brightness. Let’s pop some popcorn and get going.

  • Turn on your WiFi and connect to the internet. If your computer is equipped with Bluetooth, turn that function on, too.
  • Now, leave something that auto-refreshes open in a browser window, like sports scores. Turn your monitor brightness all the way up, open up YouTube, and stream videos continuously. Leave all your tabs open — this is the time to live out your 200-tab dreams. If your laptop still has a DVD drive, pop in a 2000s flick and hit play, knowing your full-strength laptop battery should be gone in less than an hour.

Reasons Why You Might Need to Drain Your Laptop Battery Fast

Ahmed Yusuf, business consultant and technology expert, explains that draining your battery quickly and on purpose should only be an occasional exercise and not something you do regularly. There are two primary situations where this might be necessary.

The first is if you plan on storing your laptop for an extended period. Maybe you’re taking a month-long sabbatical in Europe, or you’re going on parental leave. Either way, you’re putting your computer away and not taking it out for several weeks or longer. In this case, Yusuf says, “Discharge the battery to around 50 percent to avoid potential damage from overcharging or deep discharging during storage.”

The other case when draining your laptop’s battery makes sense is if you need to recalibrate your battery. That’s necessary if your computer’s battery isn’t responding correctly to charging or usage. “I recommend occasionally recalibrating the battery by fully charging it and then fully discharging it to recalibrate the battery level indicators,” explains Yusuf, who warns against doing this more than once every few months, as it can impact the battery’s lifespan.